Introduction of Apiculture as a livelihood strategy for PLHIV in Mutasa District

August 2, 2017

Zimbabwe Placeholder
Zimbabwe

Introduction of Apiculture as a livelihood strategy for PLHIV in Mutasa District

About the Implementing organization

Name: Diocese of Mutare Community Care Programme

Country: Zimbabwe

Year of establishment: 1992

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization

Description

Apiculture is being implemented by DOMCCP as an income generating and livelihoods project in Mutasa district of Zimbabwe with an objective of reducing rural poverty amongst People Living with HIV (PLHIV). The project has so far strengthened the capacity of PLHIV to create and maintaina conducive ecological environment for bee keeping through afforestation and establishment of fire guards around nectar-producing woodlots and natural forests.The initiative has enhanced the target group’s entrepreneurial competencies such as business planning, record keeping, goal setting and networking. Technical skills such as hive construction and honey harvesting which were previously perceived as a male domain have been mastered by women participating in the project resulting in a positive social transformation in the community. Stigmatisation, segregation and Social exclusion of PLHIV have been drastically reduced in the community. Above all, the project has generated income for 50 households through the sale of honey, bee wax and propolis. Beneficiaries are now able to meet basic needs such as food, medicines and clothing as well as paying for their children’s school fees. The project has also improved access to capital by beneficiaries through their participation in savings and lending clubs

Nature Element

Forests / Drylands

Type of Action

Sustainable use / Access and benefit sharing / Awareness and education

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Health / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)

      

Environmental Impacts

Zimbabwe has been experiencing successive climate change induced droughts over the past decade. This has resulted in most water dependent food security initiatives collapsing in Mutasa district. Bee keeping became the only viable livelihood options for the PLHIV in Mutasa since it was drought tolerant and had the potential to remain a sustainable source of income in the face of weather shocks and other hazards.
The success of any bee keeping project depends on the creation of a favourable ecological environment through planting trees and other vegetation which support bee forage. This fundamental requirement was instrumental in developing environmental consciousness among community members participating in the project.

Sustainable Development Impacts

The initiative has enhanced the target group’s entrepreneurial competencies such as business planning, record keeping, goal setting and networking. Technical skills such as hive construction and honey harvesting which were previously perceived as a male domain have been mastered by women participating in the project resulting in a positive social transformation in the community. Above all, the project has generated income for 50 households through the sale of honey, bee wax and propolis. Beneficiaries are now able to meet basic needs such as food, medicines and clothing as well as paying for their children’s school fees. The project has also improved access to capital by beneficiaries through their participation in savings and lending clubs

Scalability

The action has potential for being expanded to a national level. It is relevant to many of the agricultural regions in Zimbabwe which are prone to climate induced droughts and where traditional small scale agricultural projects have proved to be highly vulnerable to extreme weather events. Roughly 1.4 million people in Zimbabwe are living with HIV. representing an adult HIV prevalence rate of 14.7%.

Replicability

The initiative has the potential to be replicated in other parts of the country / region. It is a sustainable source of income in the face of weather shocks and other hazards. Hence it is eminently suitable to other drought prone dryland areas where there are few employment opportunities for people living in vulnerable situations.

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